frail·​ty | \ ˈfrāl-tē How to pronounce frailty (audio) \
plural frailties

Definition of frailty

1 : the quality or state of being frail the frailty of her health the frailty and disability in the elderly
2 : a fault due to weakness especially of moral character Satire … often employs irony and sarcasm to denounce the frailties and faults of mankind.— Harry Shaw

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Synonyms & Antonyms for frailty



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fault, failing, frailty, foible, vice mean an imperfection or weakness of character. fault implies a failure, not necessarily culpable, to reach some standard of perfection in disposition, action, or habit. a writer of many virtues and few faults failing suggests a minor shortcoming in character. being late is a failing of mine frailty implies a general or chronic proneness to yield to temptation. human frailties foible applies to a harmless or endearing weakness or idiosyncrasy. an eccentric's charming foibles vice can be a general term for any imperfection or weakness, but it often suggests violation of a moral code or the giving of offense to the moral sensibilities of others. compulsive gambling was his vice

Examples of frailty in a Sentence

the frailty of her voice We can no longer be surprised by the frailties of our political leaders.
Recent Examples on the Web The scientists defined frailty as meeting at least three of five criteria: fatigue, reduced strength, low aerobic capacity, having five or more chronic illnesses, and having at least a 5% weight loss during the past two years. Star Tribune, "Sweetened drinks might harm those over 60," 8 Jan. 2021 Hellraiser is still an incredibly powerful film, the only one really to get that mix of surreal horror and human frailty that defined the Barker brand. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 50 Best Horror Movies on Shudder," 2 Jan. 2021 Tenderness is the best way to touch the frailty within us. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, "Saint Joseph, Man of the Year," 21 Dec. 2020 From the hollowing-out of local journalism to declining public trust and violent polarization, America’s preexisting conditions of democratic frailty have hamstrung its scientific experts and public health officials. Ian Beacock, The New Republic, "Simply Talking About the Pandemic the Right Way Can Help Rebuild American Democracy," 24 Dec. 2020 In those comics, the story is told again and again of a world coming undone because of villainous evil or human frailty. David Beers, The New Republic, "Selling the American Space Dream," 7 Dec. 2020 Along the way, Diana struggles with her husband’s infidelity, an eating disorder and frosty in-laws who don’t understand her emotional frailty. Los Angeles Times, "How ‘The Crown’ captured Princess Diana’s evolution from shy teen to style icon," 15 Nov. 2020 All this exposes a frailty of the human condition that manifests as a divisive force within the community. Howie Milstein, Star Tribune, "Getting along in America: Here's what's very human about our divisions," 11 Sep. 2020 But in this eerie 2020 landscape of pandemic, lockdown, recession, and riot, far stranger than Biden’s frailty is his campaign routine — or lack of same. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Strangest Campaign in History?," 29 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frailty.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of frailty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for frailty

Middle English frelete, freelte, borrowed from Anglo-French freleté, going back to Latin fragilitāt-, fragilitās, from fragilis "liable to break, weak, fragile" + -itāt-, -itās -ity

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Time Traveler for frailty

Time Traveler

The first known use of frailty was in the 14th century

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Statistics for frailty

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Frailty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for frailty


How to pronounce frailty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of frailty

: physical weakness : the quality or state of being frail
: weakness of character that causes a person to do things that are morally wrong


frail·​ty | \ ˈfrāl-tē How to pronounce frailty (audio) \
plural frailties

Kids Definition of frailty

1 : the quality or state of being weak the old man's frailty
2 : a weakness of character human frailty

More from Merriam-Webster on frailty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frailty

Nglish: Translation of frailty for Spanish Speakers

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